All We Ever Do is Talk About Wood by Tom Horacek

Categories:  Reviews

All We Ever Do is Talk About Wood
By Tom Horacek
Drawn & Quarterly

Tom HoracekAs one of the medium’s longest reigning genius, it’s nearly impossible to quantify Charles Schulz’s impact on the comic strip. Nearly every strip that has been conceived subsequently owes an incalculable debt of gratitude to Schulz’s long-running strip Peanuts, and while plenty have borrowed heavily from many of the author’s now near-ubiquitous tropes, nearly all have failed to capture the true spirit of the strip, but not for lack of trying.

It’s immediately clear at first sight that, like countless artists before him, Tom Horacek’s work takes strong aesthetic cues from Schulz, imbuing even his adults with proportions similar to the children that populate the Peanuts universe. Schulz’s influence permeates much deeper than body imageine in All We Ever Do Is Talk About Wood, however. Whether conscious or not, the single sentence captions that accompany Horacek’s one-panel cartoons capture a quality oft lost in the translation amongst the slew of copycat strips that have arisen in the wake of Peanuts’ massive popularity: pure existential angst.

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Interview: Tim Sievert pt. 2 (of 3)

Categories:  Interviews

TSA Excerpt

The time for more Tim Sievert is now!

If you’re in the Twin Cities this weekend, maybe you’d like to shake the man’s hand. Sievert and Lars Martinson will be signing at Big Brain Comics this Saturday, March 29th, from 4-7 PM, celebrating the recent release of Sievert’s book That Salty Air and Martinson’s Tonoharu.

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Oliver East Interviews Steven Tillotson

Categories:  Interviews

Steven Tilloston

Who do you profile first then?

Do you put the best foot forward, or do you help your mates out? Anyone who’s in a position to do so and claims not to help their friends out is being dishonest. Luckily, due to less than adequate social skills, no patience for bad comics, and a crippling stammer, I have few actual friends who make comics. So the choice is already out of my hands. It also helps that one of the few is also the best in his field.

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Amulet Book One: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

Categories:  Reviews

Amulet Book One: The Stonekeeper
By Kazu Kibuishi
Scholastic/Graphix

Kazu KibuishiThe mountains of praise that Jeff Smith heaped upon Amulet prior to its publication on Scholastic’s Graphix imprint, have likely already served as something of a mixed blessing for author Kazu Kibuishi. To have an artist of Smith’s stature fawn over what is arguably the author’s first major work is surely any young cartoonist’s dream come true, ensuring both instant recognition from the comics press and from Smith’s own legendarily rabid fanbase, both of whom are well aware that the Bone artist has no immediate plans to relive the epic cartoon majesty of his beloved series—at least not in comics form.

Kibuishi’s Smith-approved graphic adventure story seems like an ideal place to turn in order to fill in the void left when Bone wrapped up its dozen year run in 2004.  Adorable heroes, nightmarish villains, swashbuckling adventures—all are present and accounted for. At the moment, however, the book is missing one major component. After 187 pages, Kibuishi has only begun his yarn, a mere drop in the bucket when juxtaposed with the 1,332 pages that comprise Smith comic epic.

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The Cross Hatch Dispatch 3/25/08

Categories:  The Cross Hatch Dispatch

Shaenon Garrity

[Above, Shaenon Garrity's fighting the good fight. Below, fighting for our right to Dispatch.]

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Interview: Charles Berberian and Philippe Dupuy Pt. 2

Categories:  Interviews

Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian

Artists Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian have charmed European comics audiences for decades with the continuing adventures of Monsieur Jean, the tale of a successful novelist living in Paris. Based largely on the artists’ own experience, the series has been hailed for its keen ability to betray the subtle nuances of modern life.

Haunted, a rare solo cartooning work by Dupuy, made its English debut, earlier this month. The book marks both a welcome glimpse into the artist’s individual strengths and sharp move away from the subtle realism of the team’s work on Monsieur Jean. Dupuy’s panels are stripped of their polish, leaving behind rough sketches that depict the dreamlike narratives of a man searching for deeper meanings in something so simple as taking a morning jog in a Parisian park.

In this second part, we discuss the genesis of Dupuy’s latest book, and the impact both artists expect it to have on their work, moving forward.

Pt. 1

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Cross Hatch Dispatch 03/21/2008

Categories:  The Cross Hatch Dispatch

blonde-dotparker.jpg

[Above, Matt Kindt takes a page from Dorothy Parker. Below, a Dispatch with lots of interviews and links to pretty pictures] Read the rest of this entry »

Know Your Rights by Ed Moorman

Categories:  Reviews

Know Your Rights
by Ed Moorman
St. Stephens, St. Stephen’s Human Rights Prog. & HAH

knowrights.jpgSomething about a cartoon mouse just makes me snap to attention. Mickey Mouse, Quimby the Mouse, Speedy Gonzalez and the huge cast from Art Spiegelman’s Maus – these mere mice, on some level, stand for something bigger.

In his latest project Know Your Rights, Ed Moorman attempts to widen the plane for mice with meaning. Maddie and Poet are two mice on the streets, and Know Your Rights is an educational comic that guides them through the legit way to panhandle and make a buck without getting jailed.

It sounds like the basis for a good parody, but truly, this book gets at the heart of the matter and intelligently predicts and plays out scenarios that might really matter to a person who falls on hard times.

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A Note From Oliver East on the Subject of British Comics

Categories:  Features, News

Oliver East

Someone at The Daily Cross Hatch has taken leave of their senses and asked me to write a column on the scene over here in the UK and Europe–just in the nick of time as well. Just as I finish The Watchmen for the first time. You may scoff, but I just had the pleasure of reading it for the first time, whereas you read it ages ago, and I’m relieved to have discovered it’s as enthralling as everyone said it was. Phew, finally done it, I can join the club now.

But how can you write about comics having only just read the form’s pinnicle , you may ask? Damned if I know but I’ll give it a shot. I make comics if that helps. Good ones if that helps further (I’ve made bad ones as well but you don’t need to see them). I don’t mind saying that; I’m proud of the fact.

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Interview: Julia Wertz Pt. 3 (of 3)

Categories:  Interviews

Julia Wertz

Day job or no, Julia Wertz keeps busy. The first collection of her thrice-weekly Webcomic, Fart Party arrived toward the end of last year on Atomic Books, soon making its way onto several year end lists for its frank but hilarious portray of Wertz’s own dysfunctional existence.

Now the artists is already talking about its successor, due out later this year, which follows her life up until her recent move to Brooklyn from her beloved home of San Francisco (which itself inspired the uncharacteristically sentimental mini, Good-Bye San Francisco).

Wertz is also hard at work at her review site, The Cranky Clam, other illustration work, and has just finished piecing together the Missed Connections anthology for Random House imprint, Three Rivers Press. So, where does one go from here? Wertz would gladly tell you, if he knew herself.

We finish up our three-part interview conducted at The Cake Shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, alongside fellow San Francisco transplant, Wertz’s roommate and editor of Pet Noir, Shannon O’Leary.

Part One.
Part Two.

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